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Location and Transportation

Franklin County is within the Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).


The county is bordered by Douglas County on the north, Miami County on the east, Anderson County on the south and Osage County on the west.

I-35, K-68 and U.S. 59 traverse Franklin County, with U.S. 59 in the process of reconstruction to a $290 million, four-lane, limited-access expressway between South Lawrence and I-35, connecting to I-35 by flyover about one mile north of the K-68 and I-35 interchange. I-35 is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Super Highway, becoming ever more important in international trade routing.

The BNSF railroads mainline between Long Beach, CA and Chicago traverses the county from southwest to northeast, with over 80 trains per day traveling the route. The BNSF is planning a new intermodal facility operational within the next few years in Gardner, Kansas. The intermodal is expected to spur growth of distribution centers and manufacturing within a radius of 50 miles around it. Coupling the BNSF intermodal with the new four-lane and the NAFTA Super Highway will have an economically positive impact on the Franklin County area. The county will be recognized as a crossroads for trade with easy access to the Lawrence/I-70 Corridor and the Kansas City Metro Area.

We are within 30 minutes of the Metro area by four-lane highway and one hour from Kansas City International Airport. For light plane travel, Ottawa boasts of a municipal airport with highly maintained runways 4,500 feet in length.

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